Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2015

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B M & T ••• March/April 2015 ••• 4 B LACK MEETINGS & TOURISM (BM&T) will be presenting a work- shop on planning family reunions at Travel Professional's of Color's (TPOC's) 13th Annual Conference at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Airport Hotel in East Point, GA. The Family Reunion Workshop is scheduled to take place on Friday, May 15, 2015 from 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. The public is invited to attend this free workshop, where among other things, attendees will learn: how to plan a family reunion; the benefits of working with a travel agent; help/support services avail- able from convention & visitors bureaus; and money saving tips for planning your reunion. Workshop panelists include Chantel Ross Francois, tourism director, Douglasville CVB, Penny Moore, group services manager, DeKalb CVB, Todd Neal, senior sales manager, Destination College Park, Atlanta CVB, J. Maceo Rogers, CEcD director, Dept. of Economic Development, East Point, Beverly Bentley, owner, Bentley Travel Services, and Robert Woods, SMERF sales manager at Hilton Atlanta. I, along with my wife and BM&T's associate pub- lisher/editor Gloria Herbert, will serve as PUBLISHER'S MESSAGE Solomon J. Herbert Publisher/Editor-In- Chief E-Mail: workshop facilitators, while Roy Jay, president/CEO of the Oregon Convention & Visitor Services Network, will be the workshop mod- erator. On Saturday, May 16, BM&T is also presenting a roundtable dis- cussion on our "Stay-A-Day" initiative from 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Local African-American community leaders, clergy, business own- ers, elected officials, travel/hospitality industry professionals and the public are urged to attend. The discussion will focus on strate- gies to ensure that the African-American community will get a fair share of the billions of dollars generated by the Atlanta area's trav- el and conventions industry. As reported in several of my previous "Publisher's Messages," the basis of "Stay-A-Day" is to ask ALL visitors and conference attendees traveling to or within the US to add an extra day to their itinerary and: visit an African-American cultural and/or heritage site; dine at an Ethnic Eatery; and purchase items from African- American retail stores, artists and craft artisans. Additionally, the program suggests, if possible: book travel/tours with an African- American Travel Agent, Tour Operator; stay at a Black-owned hotel or bed and breakfast; and worship at an African-American Church. It is estimated that $367.1 million in revenue would be added to the US economy each day if all international visitors extended their travel experience in this country. Approximately $1.8 billion a day would be generated if all domestic travelers included an additional day in their itineraries. Imagine the economic impact possibilities if a fair share of these dollars found their way into our community. The purpose of "Stay- A-Day…See Our USA" is to help revitalize the overall travel indus- try, contribute to creating jobs in African-American communities, stimulate the nation's economy, and just as importantly, expose travelers worldwide, to the enormous cultural impact that people of African descent have made in this country. As efforts to increase visitation to and within the U.S. are intensified, it's clear to us that we as African-Americans must assume the responsibility of making certain that these and any other programs geared to rebuilding the travel industry will also benefit our community as well. BM&T will also be hosting a reception for Kathleen Bertrand immediately following the roundtable discussion. After 32 years of dedicated service to Atlanta's hospitality community, Bert- rand, senior vice president of community and governmental affairs at the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), is retir- ing. It will be our distinct pleasure to honor this industry icon, who has contributed so much to our industry and has been a strong supporter of Black Meetings & Tourism since day one. Gloria and I could not miss this opportunity acknowledge the work of our dear friend and colleague. Please make it your business to be in Atlanta in May to support TPOC. If we don't support each other, our own organizations and our own institutions, who will? Black Meetings & Tourism is published bi-monthly by SunGlo Enterprises, 20840 Chase St., Winnetka, CA 91306-1207 •Telephone: (818)709-0646/Fax: (818) 709-4753 Copyright 2015 by SunGlo Enterprises. All rights reserved. Single Copies, $6.00 Subscriptions $45.00. Postage Paid at Pasadena, CA. •Postmaster send address changes to Black Meetings & Tourism, 20840 Chase St., Winnetka, CA 91306-1207.

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